Dear Teenage Dirtbag

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

No matter what you think, there will always be some things that are out of your control. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you’ll stop being disappointed in people.

Notice how I typed, “the sooner you’ll stop being disappointed in people” rather than “the sooner people will stop disappointing you.” People aren’t actively disappointing you; you’re actively being disappointed in them. That’s something else you need to learn despite how cliche it sounds: the world (and its inhabitants) don’t revolve around you.

Writing poetry might be a hobby to you know, but you’ll go to college to perfect your skill. And you’ll never throw away those halfway-filled composition notebooks because you want to show yourself just how far you’ve come along. Not everything you write, however, will be worthwhile. And you will get discouraged a lot. But one Saturday night – or was it a Friday? – you will get on stage and share your work with strangers at a poet’s cafe. 

This will then lead you to start reading your work at a library, and you’ll get to know the people there. You will later get a job at this library. And while the job might not be the most beloved, you will build so many great memories at this job. Most of them will involve reading to children, and bringing stories to life through puppet shows.

I know you don’t care about most of this. There’s one question you’re dying to know. Yes, one day, you’ll come to realize that there are some girls who will actually find you attractive enough to have sex with you. And some of them will actually let you. However, when you least expect it, you will meet a pretty green-eyed girl who will be the love of your life. Unfortunately, you will meet her after you start a relationship with another green-eyed girl and it will be two years before the two of you start something. 

You’ll lose her, but gain something from the relationship. And I’m not just talking about your son. And it’s something I can’t exactly explain to you in this letter. It’s just something that you’ll have to experience for yourself.

Photo made on Canva. Those are actually high school photos of me. I’ve censored the faces of others in said photographs. And that background is an actual scan of a composition book I kept in high school. I censored the poem because y’all don’t need to see how awful it was.